Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The top 5 best reasons to work for a clubbing website

The top 5 best reasons to work for a clubbing website:
  1. You never have to pay for a night out.
  2. You actually care about what you are doing.
  3. You get sent loads of free CDs.
  4. You can work pretty much anytime, anywhere.
  5. When someone thinks of a cool idea for doing something, you can make it happen.
Ans just missing out of the top 5: You get to play records from the top of a purple and orange bus.

Saturday, November 26, 2005 That's hard house isn't it?

"Gurn? That's hard house isn't it?" is a phrase I often here when chatting to promoters about the site. I don't know whether this image is a good or bad one to cultivate.

Gurn certainly is not all about hard house. There is a significant element of it on the site and historically we have been more focused on those type of events. That seems to me to be a pretty good niche to operate in and we could be successful focussing on this.

On the other hand, our most vocal members tastes have certainly shifted more towards house and breaks. Trance remains our most popular genre, but there is a big group into other music. The forum arguments over Trance vs. Hard House or Prog being boring are many and long. On top of this, Gurn has always been a community that is as much about it's diversity of musical opinion as it is everyone loving it hard.

Recently we seem to have lost that feel a little so we are flitting between being a hard house site and a general clubbing site without actually being either. When things quieten down in January it may be time to take an executive decision about the place we want Gurn to be. I'm desperate to avoid corporate speak, but I think words like 'mission statement' and 'strategic planning' are going to be hard to avoid. After all, Gurn is a business as well as a community of clubbers. We have to at least think about these things.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Have yourself a clubbing little christmas

We had high level talks last night. Christmas and New Year is our busiest time and we want to make the most of it. We have a new toy - some project management software which should make the whole plan go smoothly and the advertising packages we came up with are pretty nifty.

One of the problems is that we are trying to cater to different sizes of promoters. Our big customers are interested in national brand awareness as much as they are selling CDs or getting punters through the door of their events. They like us because we can hit thousands of clubbers all across the UK and worldwide. On the other hand, smaller nights are not interested if someone 400 miles away sees a night. Nobody is going to travel that far for an event so it's advertising money wasted. We need to be highly targeted, adding a web element to a nights promotion at a price people are prepared to pay.

In many cases, that price is going to be £0 as smaller events don't have much cash to chuck about. That said, if we can keep a price low enough and put a lot of little extras in then we are hoping people are going to be interested.

For any of this to work we still need to keep the good content coming and getting Gurners coming back for more so they can see the adverts they would be interested in anyway. Gurn is a community of like minded people first and an advertising company second in my book. If we forget the community element we lose the advertising.

I'll keep you posted on our festive campaigning.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not the first time

This is by no means my first clubbing and dance music blog. If you are interested in my non-gurn related opinions then have a look at my 20six page. I have not kept it up to date since the summer, and I don't plan on posting much of anything in there now I'm looking after this blog but as a record of my varied views between 2003-2005 it may be of interest (or not).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Passionate users, apply here.

PR companies love getting in touch with us. It's a good deal, we get content and the artist, or label gets free publicity within a specific group of people. What that seems to lead to is loads of interviews and hardly any other stuff.

Interviews are OK. Some of them are pretty interesting, but they tend not to be very popular on the site, and often they are just fluffy and dull. That's no fault of the interviewer or the interviewee, it's just there is nothing more to talk about than whatever the person is promoting. Then it becomes a free advert and no-one is interested in that.

So, what I have been trying to do is encourage both our contributors and the PR companies to think harder. At the moment I'm pushing our features section. For me this is one of our strongest sections and has the flexibility to produce some really interesting stuff. It's much harder to produce a lazy, half hearted feature than a lazy half hearted interview.

At the moment (as you can see from the lack of features) this is proving hard work. I'm asking people to think a bit differently and so far not many have taken up the challenge. My plan is to keep pushing people in the direction of writing features, with the ultimate aim of one new feature a week. One a month seems to be the average at the moment, and for a fast paced enviroment like this, that just is not enough.

All Gurn really needs is people who feel strongly about a topic that can be related to dance music or clubbing. If someone has a point to make, we can structure it. What we can't do is come up with the passionate opinions and ideas all the time. We need contributors as much as we need PR companies. If you feel you can do that, then get in touch or just email me.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Giz a job?

We get a lot of emails at Gurn towers asking for a job of some sort or another. It's hardly a surprise that people are keen to get a slice of life in the clubbing industry. It's a cool job after all, and plenty of people make a living from it, so when you see a large sign on a website emploring you to Work For Us it's no wonder people drop us a line.

It made me think that there might be some folks interested in the day to day life of a company in the business of dance music. Hence this blog has been born at the same time as I take on a paid position at top dance music site Hopefully it will be crammed with funny stories, advice and frustrations all associated with working in this strange and constantly changing industry. What's the worst that could happen?

For the record, I'm David (David25 on the site) and I'm officially the Sales & Operations Manager. I develop content (pictures and words basically) and convince people to buy advertising at very reasonable rates. My boss is the genial Meza.

Comments on here, the site and the forums are always welcome. Feel free to email me (unless you want to spam me adverts for Viagra). My first name at gurn dot net should find me just fine.